Burned by Bullying in the American Workplace: Prevalence, Perception, Degree and Impact

Authors


Pamela Lutgen-Sandvik, Department of Communication and Journalism, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001, USA (plutgen@unm.edu).

Abstract

abstract  This study assesses the prevalence of workplace bullying in a sample of US workers, using a standardized measure of workplace bullying (Negative Acts Questionnaire, NAQ), and compares the current study's prevalence rates with those from other bullying and aggression studies. The article opens by defining bullying as a persistent, enduring form of abuse at work and contrasting it with other negative workplace actions and interactions. Through a review of the current literature, we propose and test hypotheses regarding bullying prevalence and dynamics relative to a sample of US workers. After discussing research methods, we report on the rates of bullying in a US sample, compare these to similar studies, and analyse the negative acts that might lead to perceptions of being bullied. Based upon past conceptualizations, as well as research that suggests bullying is a phenomenon that occurs in gradations, we introduce and provide statistical evidence for the construct and impact of bullying degree. Finally, the study explores the impact of bullying on persons who witnessed but did not directly experience bullying in their jobs.

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